Preserving The Legacy of The Sphinx Club – Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland 2021-10-15 06:00:58 –

Part 2 of the two-part series

Rendering by architect Klaus Philipsen is one of the plans under consideration on the site. (Right): The Sphinx Club is currently boarding along Pennsylvania Avenue. Photo courtesy of Druid Heights Development Corporation

Today, to pass 2107-2109 Pennsylvania Avenue, passers-by may see its structure and consider it just another boarded city building. But for those who know the history of the building, its structure is one of the heyday gems of Pennsylvania Avenue. It’s where many successful blacks gather and Sam Cooke, Red Fox, Sarah Vaughan and other well-known entertainers come through the door. The site of the Sphinx Club, opened by Charles Tillman in 1946, is one of the first African-American-owned nightclubs in the country.

At 12:30 pm on Saturday, October 16, 2021, an estimated 150 community residents joined Brandon Scott, elected officials, members of the Tillman family, and members of the former Sphinx Club, “Charles P. Tillman’s Legacy.” Participate in the “Celebration of”. And the Sphinx Club, located at Cab Calloway Legend Park on 2223 Division Street.

The free event presents music and the history of Black Baltimore. The festival begins at the Sphinx Club with a performance by the Baltimore Go Getters Marching Band. The band marches to Cab Calloway Park (Gold Street and Division Street) for the ceremony. The event is free and open to the public and is backed by the Druid Heights Community Development Corporation, the Tillmans, the Baltimore City Planning Authority, and the Patterson Ashbury AME Zion Church.

“As we continue to celebrate the splendor of the historic Druid Heights community, we must be aware of the impact of the plus that Tillman and the Sphinx Club continue to exert on Pennsylvania Avenue,” said Druid Heights Development Corporation. Said Anthony Presley, Executive Director of. “Community organizations thank many great partners, including Patterson Ashbury AME Zion Church, for helping revitalize the space designated as Cab Calloway Legend Park, which features many icons, including Charles Tillman. doing.”

According to Druid Heights Development Corporation, the celebration includes many George Johnson and Friends music played at the Sphinx Club. Members of the Tillman family will also share their Renaissance memories on Pennsylvania Avenue.

The mission of the Druid Heights CDC is to provoke, encourage and promote community self-development through the development of economic, educational, employment and affordable housing opportunities. Druid Heights Community Development Corporation has been granted redevelopment rights to the former Sphinx Club site of the Druid Heights community.

Sphinx, a private club known for its after-show parties and the famous New Year’s Eve and Mardi Gras incidents, closed in 1992. “The Sphinx Club was a really great place,” says Shirley Gordon. , Patinated the Sphinx Club. “Anyone who was went to the Sphinx Club. Victorine Adams had a dress shop on Pennsylvania Avenue, and women were there to buy their wonderful clothes to wear at the Sphinx Club. went.”

Rosa “Rambling Rose” Pryor-Trusty also shared with “The Sphinx” the memories of the pioneering Tilghman who died in 1988. “I was interested in booking one of my groups there,” said Pryor-Trusty, who managed several groups. “I went in and introduced myself to Charlie Tillman. He was very impressed with me. We talked, he welcomed me to dinner, and the rest is history.” She added. “I was always there. After quitting my job, I went home, took a shower, and changed my clothes in the evening, because no one was walking in the Sphinx club. People dressed in nines. is.”

Famous entertainment columnist Pryor is the author of “African-American Entertainment in Baltimore” and talks about the Sphinx Club in her book. “People from all disciplines have come to the club,” recalls Pryor-Trusty. “I met many famous judges, lawyers, doctors and politicians in the Sphinx.” “Charlie was a very kind person to so many. He was a good man and a giver. He was a giver. He was also very smart and very witty. He was a pretty businessman and a true legend. “

For more information on “Celebrating the Heritage of Charles P. Tillman and the Sphinx Club,” call (410) 523-1350 or at for Eventbrite. Please register with. -charles-p-tilghman-andthe-sphinx-club-tickets-167893837989

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